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What Skills Will You Need in the Future?

What Skills Will You Need in the Future? main image

By Viv Mah

Flash forward ten years. Where are you working? With any luck, the answer will be in the career of your dreams. However, increasing reports of automation and an ever-changing workforce have many of us scurrying in search of security and stability.

Before you panic and enroll yourself in every skill-boosting course available — culinary school, anyone? — step back a moment. While it’s all well and good to future proof your ability to earn an income, it may turn out your degree and experience have already provided you with a solid grounding in the skills future employers want. 

A report published by The Atlantic identified six key drivers of change in the workforce for 2025. The rise of smart systems, a focus on big data, the ability to analyze the world from a programmatic perspective, an ever-evolving audience engagement with media and the global flattening of the world were highlighted as key considerations for how the workplace would evolve. 

In turn, several key skills were identified as being important for jobs of the future — some of which may look strikingly familiar. 

Sense-making and computational thinking

The advance of technology and data in the future work world will necessitate the ability to understand what the numbers mean. The data or abstract piece of information is, after all, only part of the equation; the ability to apply its significance and use in a variety of forms is the other half. 

Social intelligence, virtual collaboration and cross-cultural competency

Just as every team requires a strong manager to pull it together, a wider, broader and more scattered organization requires a superior set of connections to keep it functioning. In this context, social intelligence also extends to understanding the sensitivities and requirements of different communities across a wide range of platforms, and how to best elicit the desired interactions and responses.

Novel and adaptive thinking

The ability to parse the use of new media and understand an audience’s engagement with it, in order to help your organization utilize said media, won’t be an asset for marketing departments alone.

It’ll also play a role in how businesses - who are rapidly becoming aware of the importance of presentation both internally and externally - communicate themselves, their values and their capabilities to their key stakeholders. And the ever-evolving nature of media requires a certain amount of inventiveness when it comes to staying ahead of the usual players.

Design mindset

Doubtless you’ve heard of concepts like Kanban. The concept of being able to visualize one’s work and effectively track it is becoming more and more prevalent, in order to best understand the flow of work and priorities within an organization.

By the early 2020s, it’s likely even more concepts will have been invented, in order to promote a clutter-free workplace, with the desirable skill being the ability to manage such processes.

Viv Mah writes for Inspiring Interns, which specializes in finding candidates their perfect internship. To browse their graduate jobs London listings, visit their website. For senior roles, see the Inspiring Search page.

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